Anne Elizabeth Borghesani

1967-1990

 

Who was Anne?

How does one capture twenty-three rich years in a few paragraphs?  Anne’s story was stopped at the threshold of her adult life, deliberately cut off by her murderer as she walked to the subway on a Saturday evening in March, 1990.

 

Anne was many things to many people.  Born on March 27, 1967, she was the only daughter, sandwiched between two brothers, Philip and Paul.  She was a curious, independent, lively child always striving to catch up to her older brother while she “mothered” her younger brother.  Above all Anne, with her zest for living and quick sense of humor, was a person connected to others.  She knew everyone’s name in her preschool class, befriended the new kids in school, drew high school classmates of different faiths together at her annual Christmas party, and spent hours listening to friends on the phone.

 

Anne at Lexington High School

Anne was a 1985 graduate of Lexington High School, Lexington MA.  During high school Anne taught religious education classes in her church, swimming at a local pool, helped cook and serve meals at a women’s shelter.  As member of the yearbook committee and class council, she volunteered in the special education program at Lexington High School to increase her understanding of special needs students. Lexington High School now has The LHS Anne E Borghesani Memorial Prize, a scholarship in her name. 

 

Anne at Tufts University 

Anne was a 1989 graduate of Tufts University in Medford, MA.  Anne's years at Tufts were a time of intellectual and personal challenge, adventure, and increasing commitment to her friends, the Tufts community, and to the larger world. Anne's love of people and her fascination with travel and other cultures made her major of International Relations a natural choice. During her junior year, Anne led an exploration course on "Differences Across America," which focused on ethnic and immigration patterns and their influences on regional differences. Her involvement at Tufts extended beyond the academic; she was a vice-president of her dorm and later a Residential Advisor.  She also devoted time to class council, hosting prospective students, and worked part time. At the time of Anne's death, a scholarship in Anne's memory was created at Tufts University.  Housed in the International Relations Program at Tufts, The Anne E. Borghesani Memorial Prize is an incentive award that enables the recipients to undertake a project, activity or plan of study in any field involving international issues. 

In addition, the NERDGIRLS, a project and documentary for attracting women to carrers in Science and Engineering, named their solar powered car the "Anne E. B." in memory of Anne. 

 

Anne’s Death

During her years at Tufts, Anne was able to pursue her interests both in the classroom on the Medford campus and through a semester's study at the University of Grenoble, where she lived with a French family. She also traveled to Russia and visited then-divided Berlin. These experiences led her to value her own independence and freedom as an American and develop a concern for the pursuit of freedom around the globe.  Full of idealism, she enthusiastically moved to Washington, DC after graduation.  She was working as a legal assistant, hoped to attend law school, and talked of being a public defender.

 

And yet – ironically – it was in Washington that she was denied her most basic freedom, the freedom to walk safely down the street, and robbed of her life.  She was accosted by a stranger, a man who had attacked another woman earlier that evening, and dragged into a stairwell where she was robbed and brutally murdered. Her assailant was apprehended four months later and successfully convicted of her death in August, 1991. 

 

Anne’s story stops on March 31, 1990.  In killing Anne, her murderer also killed a part of us, her family and friends.  Our lives are forever changed by her loss.  Anne will never realize her goals and dreams, never marry or have a child.  But her spirit lives on in the goals of the Anne E. Borghesani Community Foundation.   Anne's parents wrote reflections on her death and the trial in Our Daughter's Unjust Death.

Betty Borghesani was recently interviewed on NPR's StoryCorps (search for Borghesani) broadcast on October 18, 2006.   Betty talks with Mary Lou Shaalman, about surviving the loss of a child. Both are volunteers at The Garden of Peace a memorial to the victims of homicide.